CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Duke Energy today announced that it has filed a settlement agreement with the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC).
This agreement was reached between Duke Energy, the staff of the NCUC and the North Carolina Public Staff.
Following approval, the agreement would resolve all issues related to the matters under review by the NCUC regarding Duke Energy's change in president and chief executive officer following the close of the merger between Duke Energy Corp. and Progress Energy Inc. on July 2, 2012.
"This settlement agreement is an important step forward for the company because it resolves one of our key near-term priorities: bringing closure to the NCUC merger review process," said Jim Rogers, chairman, president and CEO. "We are already delivering significant benefits from the merger for our customers and investors and are well-positioned for the future as a stronger, more efficient organization."
Under the agreement, which is subject to approval by the NCUC, Duke Energy agrees to the following key provisions:
- Providing additional merger commitments, including: maintaining at least 1,000 employees in Raleigh, N.C.; guaranteeing an additional $25 million in fuel and fuel-related cost savings to North Carolina customers; and making $5 million in additional contributions to support workforce development and low-income assistance in North Carolina
- Making certain personnel changes, including moving Lloyd Yates, currently executive vice president, customer operations, into the position of executive vice president, regulated utilities, and appointing a new general counsel
- Creating a special committee of the board to oversee the recommendation of a successor to Rogers upon his retirement, and the search for two new board members
- Agreeing to defer filing a general rate case by Duke Energy Carolinas, LLC in North Carolina until February 2013, with the understanding that it will be allowed to defer the depreciation and operation costs of new generation incurred from the commercial operation of such new generation until the effective date of new base rates
- Retaining the former general counsel of Progress Energy Inc. to advise the company for two years on regulatory and legislative matters in North Carolina.
The parties agreed that the settlement agreement does not constitute and should not be construed as an admission or acknowledgement of any illegal or improper acts by Duke Energy.
The current general counsel as well as the company's executive vice president, regulated utilities, will assume new leadership roles to be announced following the NCUC's approval of the settlement agreement.
Duke Energy will provide proportional fuel, fuel-related, workforce and low-income assistance financial benefits to its South Carolina customers. These are in addition to and consistent with recent merger-related commitments to customers in the state and are expected to total between $8 and $9 million.
A full copy of the settlement agreement is available on the NCUC website, under docket E-7, Sub 1017, at the following address:
About Duke Energy
Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with more than $100 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.1 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at: www.duke-energy.com.
This release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are identified by terms and phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "intend," "estimate," "expect," "continue," "should," "could," "may," "plan," "project," "predict," "will," "potential," "forecast," "target," "guidance," "outlook" and similar expressions. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to be materially different from the results predicted. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in any forward-looking statement include, but are not limited to: state, federal and foreign legislative and regulatory initiatives; the ability to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers; the impact of compliance with material restrictions or conditions imposed by regulators; and costs and effects of legal and administrative proceedings, settlements, investigations and claims.
Additional risks and uncertainties are identified and discussed in Progress Energy's and Duke Energy's reports filed with the SEC and available at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. In light of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, the events described in the forward-looking statements might not occur or might occur to a different extent or at a different time than Duke Energy has described. Duke Energy undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.